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Weekly News – Friday 6th October

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

This week, we started with our Senior Harvest Festival service which focussed on the work of Shelter Box, providing international relief packs to aid the survival of those in areas affected by natural disasters. Thank you to Mrs Griffiths, all the readers and the Year 7 choir for making this a very meaningful service and thank you to all the parents who kindly donated to the cause.

The Year 9 students had a great visit to the Black Country Living Museum on Wednesday.

Senior pupils have been out playing on our new playground! It is pretty spectacular, the whole area seems so much bigger and the grass (Astroturf) is lush. On day one, some pupils were actually stroking it… We are awaiting the ball net to enclose the ball play area so currently football is not allowed, but it won’t be long. A huge thank you to Kesta Jackson and his team for working so hard on this area, including the building of the new wall over the last few months.

Our Year 7 and 8 boys’ football team have been out again honing their skills. Good games were played this week, with all getting acclimatised to the amount of ground to cover and the necessary attack and defence skills. We have more to learn but having a great time in the process!

On Saturday this week, we are presenting our Senior School production of High School Musical, at 7.00pm at The Space. There is parking onsite but as Goose Fair is still on, allow plenty of time for your journey. You can buy your tickets online here:

Next Wednesday sees our Prize Giving ceremony in The Albert Hall at 7.00pm. Pupils need to be there by 6.30pm. This is our finest occasion of the year when all pupils from Years 3 to 11 collect their prizes and sing. We are delighted that Jeremy Banks, son of former Headmistress Margaret Banks, is coming to present the prizes and to give a speech. It is an occasion for all pupils, friends and parents. Every pupil will be singing on the stage, many are in the prize line and others will be speaking within my speech or singing in the choir. I am expecting a full attendance. In lieu of the evening’s attendance, pupils take the afternoon off school. Parents have already been sent the full details of the arrangements by letter. Please allow plenty of time for parking before the event as it does get quite busy.

I know there is a clash with an Open Evening at Nottingham High School for pupils looking to enter their Sixth Form, but I urge senior pupils to prioritise their school commitment.

At Parents’ Forum last week a couple of items came up which I would like to share with you. Firstly, the style of the girls senior skirts in relation to the need for them to sit cross legged on the floor for assemblies. I am seeking some samples of alternative styles from our uniform supplier, which I will display for parents and pupils views once they arrive. To reassure you, if we decide to change, there would be an overlap in styles for a period. Secondly, there was an issue of pupils carrying too many books in their bags/backpacks in Senior School. Pupils throughout the school are requested to take home only what is necessary for homework and to leave the remaining books, especially text books, in their desk. The desk can be visited in the school day at morning break and at lunchtime so there is never the need to carry round schoolbooks for more than a block of three lessons. We are concerned about the volume of some of the bags in the corridors, as well as realising the dangers to the back of carrying excess weight. I will pass this concern via the form tutors to share with the pupils but request parental support, especially if excess luggage is being brought home.

On a very serious note, we have had an increasing number of concerns not only about parents’ safe and responsible parking on Villa Road and in the environs of the school but more importantly of poor driving; speeding away down Villa Road, driving at speed along the pavement, reversing from the pavement with no consideration for pupil safety. We have had a couple of near misses. One didn’t miss. We are working with our neighbours to seek ways of improving the safety of our pupils and are currently in discussion with the highways department and with local councillors as well as considering what we can do as a school to alleviate some of the issues, but I beg parents to think of the safety of all our pupils, staff and the general public when driving in our area.

We are delighted that our Spanish Teacher, Mrs Kara, is fully recovered from her operation and is returning to school on Monday. We are sorry to be saying goodbye to Mrs Baines who has covered for her classes and who has been the best supply teacher ever! Many thanks to her.

I wish you all a great weekend.

Mrs Hutley

Message from the Head of Juniors

Click here to view this week’s Stars of the Week

Dear Parents,

On Monday, Mrs Keyworth took Year 6 to the Mega Fest Sports Festival at Harvey Hadden. The focus was on enjoyment and inclusion but the children couldn’t let the competitive element go! In Kurling, they won two matches and drew the third. In Athletics, the girls won all their races. Andrew Leu and Angele Taylor Bragas picked up a silver and gold medal respectively for their timed speed bounce. The children came joint first in their group for Urban Hockey and then went on to win every single Dodgeball match very convincingly! Well done to all those Year 6 who took part.

I have enjoyed seeing many of you at Parents’ Evenings this week. If you could not attend, please contact Form Teachers to arrange alternative appointments.

I am sure many of you have visited or are planning to visit Goose Fair this weekend. Year 1 to 6 all had the opportunity to go yesterday as we are lucky enough to be able to walk there. In addition to having fun, there are so many curriculum links associated with the trip. We hoped that it would stay dry but had the added bonus of some sunshine. The children I have spoken to all had a fabulous time, enjoying the rides and delicious snacks. Did you see the photos from the trip on our Facebook page? Many thanks to staff for organising this and to parents for giving up their time to come and help; we really do appreciate this.

Next Wednesday is Prize Giving for Years 3 to 6. Prize winners or anyone involved in the entertainments programme (including choir) should go straight to The Albert Hall in the morning at 8.45am (please do not arrive much earlier than this and make sure you deliver children to a member of staff) whilst other children should come to school as usual; we will walk to The Albert Hall later in the morning. All children in Years 3 to 6 need to be collected from the Albert Hall at 12.15pm. Children should arrive back at The Albert Hall in the evening at 6.30pm and need to be wearing formal uniform (white shirt, tie, green skirt, green tights and blazer for girls). Parents of children in younger years are also very welcome to come to the evening event.

Mrs Wright
Head of Juniors

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"Pupils are self-confident, self-aware and have a good sense of who they are."

ISI Inspection February 2013